Help Me Continue Receiving Infusions

As some of you know, but many of you do not, I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.  Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes immune cells to attack cells in their own body, usually the synovial cells, but any of the organs of the body can be affected.  I had symptoms as early as 1989, but I wasn't diagnosed until 2007.  This means I had many years to develop joint damage.  In addition to joint damage, RA causes me to suffer from fatigue, run fevers, develop nodules and skin rashes - the list is extensive.  I can no longer work, but don't yet qualify for disability.  Luckily, my husband, Jason is able and willing to work very hard to support us.  We often just barely make it, but we do make it.

After trying a variety of drugs over the past few years without success, I have finally found one that works, Actemra.  It has been like a miracle to me.  After a very rough winter where I rarely was able to leave my recliner, let alone my house, I am finally able to get up and start doing some things again.  I have even been able to start volunteering once a month and was considering a part-time job.  

Here's the "but":
Actemra infusions are very expensive ($17,493/month.) We do have insurance and I was told when I began that I was pre-qualified by my insurance and that my cost for the year would be approximately $2600 ($1,000 deductible, and 20% of 8,000.)  Well, not so much.  My insurance leaves me with approximately $1000 unpaid for every infusion.

We have already exhausted our FSA and I was denied financial aid through IU.  We have depleted our savings and I've even used my daughter's camp money to pay down the bill.  I am attempting to get a grant from Genetech to cover my portion but I am not yet approved.  Regardless, it won't cover my outstanding bill now even if I am approved.  I was notified by IU Health that in order to continue my infusions, I must make the minimum payment of $857.48 by July 11, and must continue to pay $1280 monthly until my balance is paid off.  This is an impossibility.  I already have around $11,000 in previous medical bills that I'm paying on every month and a monthly prescription costs of $211.  

I don't want to go back to being miserable!  So, as much as I don't want to ask for help, I decided it was necessary.  I realize that many of you are in the same boat, or at least similar boats, and you are probably grumbling to yourself right now.  If that is the case, I apologize for offending you and I certainly won't hold it against anyone who doesn't participate.  However, if you have a single, or a five sitting around and you'd like to help, I would be so eternally grateful.

Thanks,
Jenny
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Organizer

Jennifer White Willenberg 
Organizer
Indianapolis, IN
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